Novel Advances in Animal Biology

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2024 | Viewed by 5732

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
Interests: molecular genetics; animal biology; conservation biology; evolution
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
Interests: animal genetics; genomics; molecular barcoding

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of animal biology is facing a rapid evolution connected to both global changes and technological innovations. The adaptability of living organisms to sudden physicochemical and biological changes is strongly affected by short-scale environmental conditions and management policies. At the same time, the application of animal biology to disciplines connected to applied sciences adds knowledge to many scientific topics.

This Special Issue focuses on the most recent multidisciplinary research carried out to understand biological processes starting from recent advances in animal biology in a wide variety of fields, from ecology and environmental biology to medicine and pharmaceutics. 

In particular, results originating from basic and applied sciences are presented with special attention to innovative technologies and advancements helpful to better comprehend functional processes in the field of animal science.

Prof. Dr. Francesco Nonnis Marzano
Dr. Laura Filonzi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • molecular genetics
  • animal biology
  • conservation biology
  • evolution, genomics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 816 KiB  
Article
Vardenafil Long-Term Administration Improves Episodic Memory in Aging Female Mice
by Harold Dadomo, Davide Ponzi, Silvia Paterlini, Stefano Parmigiani and Paola Palanza
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(22), 12470; https://doi.org/10.3390/app132212470 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 669
Abstract
Age-dependent cognitive decline is associated with a downregulation of the cyclic nucleotide cascade. Through their regulation of the cGMP pathway, phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors have been proven to enhance episodic memory in rodents and mice and have been proposed as drugs with the potential [...] Read more.
Age-dependent cognitive decline is associated with a downregulation of the cyclic nucleotide cascade. Through their regulation of the cGMP pathway, phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors have been proven to enhance episodic memory in rodents and mice and have been proposed as drugs with the potential to counteract aging-dependent cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. One caveat of this line of research is that these studies have been carried out in male rodents, leaving unknown their effects on female cognition. With the present study, we aim to fill this methodological gap. Twenty-four-month-old female mice were exposed to a continuous 33-day treatment with 2 mg/kg of Vardenafil and tested in the object recognition test, the elevated plus maze, and the open field test. The results show that, compared to females from the control group, Vardenafil-exposed females showed higher discrimination between familiar and novel objects compared to controls both at 1 h and 24 h delays, indicating that Vardenafil enhances episodic memory. No effects of Vardenafil on anxiety-like behaviors were found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Advances in Animal Biology)
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11 pages, 1672 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Reproductive Performance of Females of Anguilla anguilla Characterized by Different Levels of Silvering
by Oliviero Mordenti, Laura Gentile, Pietro Emmanuele, Bálint Lóránt Hausz, Riccardo Brusa and Antonio Casalini
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(19), 10718; https://doi.org/10.3390/app131910718 - 26 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
The European eel, Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758), is a species of high conservation and commercial value. Also, with a high aquacultural value, it was one of the most farmed species in Europe before its decline. Conservation measures for this species are currently being [...] Read more.
The European eel, Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758), is a species of high conservation and commercial value. Also, with a high aquacultural value, it was one of the most farmed species in Europe before its decline. Conservation measures for this species are currently being implemented, some of which are the release of adults to allow them to migrate to spawning grounds and artificial reproduction to minimise the impact of overfishing. Much progress has been made regarding the closing of the life cycle, but several problems remain to be solved, such as the weaning and growth of larvae. In this regard, the study of local populations and the identification of the best spawners could be a good way forward as it would help to identify spawners with high reproductive potential and good offspring quality. In this study, we compared the reproductive performance of female eels from migratory areas of the Northern Adriatic Sea at different maturation stages (10 pre-migrant stage; 10 migrant stage), treating both groups with the same hormonal protocol (weekly carp pituitary extract, injection of 17α,20β-Dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one at complete oocyte maturation). The research showed that eels at the beginning of metamorphosis (SI III), i.e., eels not yet ready to undertake migration, achieve reproductive performance equal to that of eels ready for migration (SI IV). Their performance was on par in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The optimal results in hatching (with values of 65.8 ± 3.2% for pre-migrant and 68.2 ± 4.1% for migrant) and survival rates (with value of 25.7 ± 5.4% pre-migrants; 27.2 ± 3.7% migrants), as well as the results about the time to reach full gonadal maturation, may have positive implications when considering release and restocking measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Advances in Animal Biology)
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12 pages, 5976 KiB  
Article
Behavioural Analysis of Dogs’ Response to Threatening and Neutral Conspecific Video Stimuli
by Giulia Pedretti, Chiara Canori, Sarah Marshall-Pescini, Gianni Pavan and Paola Valsecchi
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(16), 9254; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13169254 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Dogs’ displacement behaviours and some facial expressions have been suggested to function as appeasement signals, reducing the occurrences of aggressive interactions. The present study had the objectives of using naturalistic videos, including their auditory stimuli, to expose a population of dogs to a [...] Read more.
Dogs’ displacement behaviours and some facial expressions have been suggested to function as appeasement signals, reducing the occurrences of aggressive interactions. The present study had the objectives of using naturalistic videos, including their auditory stimuli, to expose a population of dogs to a standardised conflict (threatening dog) and non-conflict (neutral dog) situation and to measure the occurrence of displacement behaviours and facial expressions under the two conditions. Video stimuli were recorded in an ecologically valid situation: two different female pet dogs barking at a stranger dog passing by (threatening behaviour) or panting for thermoregulation (neutral behaviour). Video stimuli were then paired either with their natural sound or an artificial one (pink noise) matching the auditory characteristics. Fifty-six dogs were exposed repeatedly to the threatening and neutral stimuli paired with the natural or artificial sound. Regardless of the paired auditory stimuli, dogs looked significantly more at the threatening than the neutral videos (χ2(56, 1) = 138.867, p < 0.001). They kept their ears forward more in the threatening condition whereas ears were rotated more in the neutral condition. Contrary to the hypotheses, displacement behaviours of sniffing, yawning, blinking, lip-wiping (the tongue wipes the lips from the mouth midpoint to the mouth corner), and nose-licking were expressed more in the neutral than the threatening condition. The dogs tested showed socially relevant cues, suggesting that the experimental paradigm is a promising method to study dogs’ intraspecific communication. Results suggest that displacement behaviours are not used as appeasement signals to interrupt an aggressive encounter but rather in potentially ambiguous contexts where the behaviour of the social partner is difficult to predict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Advances in Animal Biology)
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14 pages, 3180 KiB  
Article
Long Eared Owls (Asio otus Linnaeus, 1758) as Field-Assistants in an Integrative Taxonomy Survey of a Peculiar Microtus savii (Rodentia, Cricetidae) Population
by Livia Lucentini, Patrick Brunet-Lecomte, Leonardo Brustenga, Gianandrea La Porta, Angelo Barili, Angela Gaggi, Sergio Gentili, Armando Nappi and Andrea Maria Paci
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 4703; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13084703 - 8 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1411
Abstract
Voles from the Genus Microtus are rodents with a subterranean lifestyle. Central Italy is populated by two species of the Genus, the North-Western Microtus savii and the South-Eastern endemic Microtus brachycercus. Although morphometric features able to help distinguish M. savii from M. [...] Read more.
Voles from the Genus Microtus are rodents with a subterranean lifestyle. Central Italy is populated by two species of the Genus, the North-Western Microtus savii and the South-Eastern endemic Microtus brachycercus. Although morphometric features able to help distinguish M. savii from M. brachycercus are lacking, a peculiar morphology of the anterior end of the first lower molar is typical, but not exclusive, of M. brachycercus. Since some skulls with a compatible dental morphology were collected from Long-eared owl pellets in Umbria (Central Italy), a genetic assessment was deemed necessary to verify the possible presence of M. brachycercus outside of its known distribution range. Hemimandibles were isolated and used for both genetic and morphometric dental analyses. Despite the fact that this could suggest the presence of a M. brachycercus population, genetic analyses confirmed the species attribution to the M. savii complex, showing peculiar genetic polymorphisms that can either be due to the wide sampling area, represented by the owls’ hunting grounds, or to the recent evolutive history of the analysed population. This study, once again, underlines the importance of integrative taxonomy, suggesting the key role of predators as field-assistants to minimize the impact of sampling campaign on natural populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Advances in Animal Biology)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Article Title: Nonlocal Mechanistic Models in Ecology: 2 Numerical Methods and Parameter Inference

Author Names: Erin Eleffsen and Nancy Rodriguez 

Abstract: Animals use their environment to decide how to move and form their territory. In some cases, populations inform themselves of competing groups through observations at distances, scent markings, or memories of locations where an individual had encountered competing a population. As the process of gathering this information is inherently nonlocal, mechanistic models that include nonlocal terms have been proposed to investigate the movement of species.  Naturally, these models present analytical and computational challenges. In this work, we study a multi-species reaction-advection-diffusion model with nonlocal advection.  We introduce an efficient numerical scheme using spectral methods to compute solutions of a nonlocal reaction-advection-diffusion system for a large number of interacting species.  Moreover, we investigate the effects of the parameters and the interaction potentials on the population densities.  Finally, we propose a method using maximum likelihood estimation to determine the leading factors driving species' movements and test this method using synthetic data.

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